Donald Trump

The U.S. killing of senior Iranian military commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani left many of America's allies in the Middle East confused and nervous. That includes Saudi Arabia, the top regional rival of Iran.

The Saudi-U.S. relationship has become particularly close since President Trump took office. It could prove to be a double-edged sword for the kingdom, analysts say, as Iran contemplates its next moves. Iran and Saudi Arabia have long battled for regional dominance, and the U.S. has supported the Saudi-led war in Yemen against Iran-backed Houthi forces.

Updated at 1:40 E.T.

In one of his most sweeping environmental proposals so far, President Trump says he wants to streamline an "outrageously slow and burdensome federal approval process" that can delay major infrastructure projects for years.

Supporters from the fossil fuel, construction, ranching and other industries welcome the move, which they've long sought. Environmental groups warn it would sideline the climate impacts of highways, pipelines and other projects, and they promise a legal challenge.

Iran's U.N. ambassador tells NPR that Tehran has no plans to step up a confrontation with the U.S. after it fired missiles at U.S. military bases in Iraq in "a measured, proportionate response" to the assassination of Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

However, Majid Takht Ravanchi, speaking to Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep, says Iran is prepared for further action if the U.S. renews its aggression. He also denied the Trump administration's assertion that Soleimani, the commander of Iran's Quds Force, had been plotting an attack on U.S. persons or interests.

Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep talks to Majid Takht Ravanchi, Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, about whether the missile strikes Iran launched this week mark the end of retaliatory actions against the United States in response to the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, and why Soleimani had been in Baghdad.

Steve Inskeep: Is Iran's retaliation against the United States finished?

Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET

Details are still emerging about Iran's ballistic missile attack on Iraqi bases housing American military forces, which set off rampant speculation about a potential U.S. response. But President Trump suggested Wednesday that any U.S. action would be economic, not military.

"Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned — and a very good thing for the world," Trump said.

Updated at 2:45 p.m. ET

Satellite photos taken Wednesday show that an Iranian missile strike has caused extensive damage at the Ain al-Assad air base in Iraq, which hosts U.S. and coalition troops.

The photos, taken by the commercial company Planet and shared with NPR via the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, show hangars and buildings hit hard by a barrage of Iranian missiles that were fired early Wednesday morning local time.

A clear majority of people living outside the U.S. do not trust President Trump to do the right thing in world affairs, with fewer than one-third expressing confidence in him — an opinion also reflected in attitudes toward America generally, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center.

However, the metrics have improved somewhat for the president since a similar survey two years ago, increasing to 29% expressing confidence from 22%.

Updated at 10:03 p.m. ET

Iran has launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military and coalition forces, targeting at least two military bases in Iraq, the U.S. Defense Department announced late Tuesday.

The strikes on military and coalition personnel at the Ain al-Assad air base in Anbar province and in Irbil — at the center of Iraq's Kurdistan region — began at approximately 5:30 p.m. ET, according to a statement.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif defended the strike, saying it was an act of "self-defense."

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

President Trump said that Iran appears "to be standing down" after Tuesday night's missile attack in Iraq and that "the American people should be extremely grateful and happy no Americans were harmed."

Trump, in a nationally televised address from the White House, also announced a new round of what he termed "punishing economic sanctions" against the Iranian government. And he called on NATO to become "much more involved in the Middle East process."

Kept in the dark beforehand and skeptical of claims the Trump administration made afterward to justify killing Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani last week in a drone strike, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is promising swift action this week to reassert Congress' war powers and rein in President Trump.

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